Dear Papa: I had a perfect friends-with-benefits relationship that came to an amiable end when I started dating the fellow's good friend. The new relationship started out quite passionately, but over the course of the summer it cooled off, and we recently broke up. Now I'm single and lamenting that I gave up my hookup buddy for such a brief fling. Should I re-proposition the former lover or should I move on? Both of these fellows were a few years younger than I am.
Dear Cougar: Were you going to send a telegram? Stop. If your two picadores are such good friends that a woman does not come between them once, I do not imagine she would come between them a second time. Either way, the young man can make his own decisions. Invite him over for a drink and a shared remembrance. If he refuses, I imagine there is an older man who appreciates a woman who can be bold.
Dear Papa: At my job I work in a small space with a small number of people — including an Official Sourpuss. He bad-mouths everyone behind their backs. I'm OK with being bad-mouthed (I don't have to hear about it), but I sure am tired of hearing complaints about everyone else. Is there an appropriately passive-aggressive way to shut his passive-aggressiveness down?
Dear OS: A well-placed word will shut down a two-faced man. A well-placed silence will shut him down faster. As he says whatever he is driven to say, do not move. It is like hunting squirrel. He will keep going and then you will still have not moved and he will forget you're there. He will not expect anything and when he says the worst of it, you can look at him with a blank face and your glare will be like a gunshot.
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